Brayden Haws

February 20, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Every Product Should Be Like a Sound Machine

When I was younger, I had terrible sleeping problems. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't go to sleep. It would be three...four...five in the morning, and I would still be awake, despite desperately wanting to be asleep. I thought this would never change.

But then we had a baby. And my wife bought her something called a sound machine. It was this crazy device that played ocean sounds. It seemed nuts to me that something like this existed. Or at least I thought it was nuts until the first night we used it. I am not sure if it helped our daughter sleep or not. But it knocked me right out. I was lying in bed and suddenly noticed that I felt more tired and relaxed than I ever had. Three minutes of listening to that machine, and I was out cold. And every night after, the machine would put me straight to sleep. Something I had been struggling with my entire life was solved.

Sound machines are a funny product. Their only job is to make noise. To disrupt the silence and mask other sounds. But when they do their job right, they fade into the background. They become a facilitator of more important things. They empower users to do the most crucial of activities. And they become an ingrained part of everyday life.

Every product should be like a sound machine. When first discovered, it should shock and delight customers. It should solve a pain for which they have found no other cure. And then it should slowly fade into the background. It should become such a vital part of their life that they can't live without it. It becomes a natural part of their life, and they rely on it so heavily that they can never let it go. It took me 27 years to discover the magic of a sound machine. And I guarantee customers are searching just as desperately for what you have to offer.

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About Brayden Haws

Healthcare guy turned tech wannabe. Doing product stuff at Grow. Building Utah Product Guild⚒️. Created the PM A.M. Newsletter. Curated the Patchwork PM Bible. Constantly tinkering on my 🛻. Occasionally writing poor takes on product strategy and technology.

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